May 12, 2017
Harry Styles, Jeff Bhasker, Mitch Rowland, Ryan Nasci, Alex Salibian & Tyler Johnson
Lyrically, it describes a woman the narrator briefly met and is now infatuated with.
Harry explained Carolina was the last song recorded for the album, stating: "It was what felt like it finished [the album] off. We had a week or two that felt like we were in a funk. Then I went out and wrote this and it felt like the bit of fun that was missing. It’s about a specific person, and they know it's about them now".
Rolling Stone described the song as a "Beatles-esque track boasting a rumbling rhythm section, steady acoustic guitar vamp, a blues-y lead riff and plenty of pristine harmonies to back up Styles’ smoldering vocals".
Fans and media outlets speculated the song may have been written about Townes Adair Jones, mostly from the lyric "Townes, better swim before you drown." Harry has stated that he does name the woman the song is inspired by, and that (at the time of release) she did not know the song was about her. After his Today Show performance on May 9, Harry said the woman's father had informed her of the song, after recognizing it was about her. In his Behind The Album documentary, Styles heavily implied he wrote the song after a brief fling.